I think I've written 10,000 words on KUFC this week. Not shabby. I would have written more if I could stop fiddling with the last two scenes that I typed up (dammit). I keep remembering things like "if she was eating grapes she'd have to spit out the seeds, no seedless grapes in 1940" and "wait, I have to point out that there were grapes on the coffee table in the first place" and "she forgot to put her coat back on before she went outside" and such. It's stupid little stuff, consistencies and anachronisms, but it's the kind of stuff I'm afraid I'll forget entirely if I don't put it in (which simultaneously feels too irrelevant to take notes about).
Also, the book is becoming much queerer than I intended it to be. My MC is bisexual, which was part of the plan all along, but it's turning out that there are more homosexual scenes/couples in the book than hetero ones. I think this is hunky-dory, but since this just happened, I'm slightly worried that I'll scare off publishers the same way Soderbergh scared off distributors. (Best comment I heard on that nonsense: "Now I'm just curious...how gay is this thing?") Ah well. Now is not the time to worry about that. And anyway genre fiction needs more healthy queerness and fewer spider-queens with eight boobs.
Speaking of scary monsters, I am reading this book:
And I think it will be the last advice book about the publishing industry that I read, unless I am recommended one after a serious, thoughtful conversation. I've read ten or so, all told, and a plethora of publishing advice on the internet. They always have the same effect. They make me insecure and arrogant in equal measures (i.e. "oh God, I'm not doing that, I'm not thinking about that, I'm a horrible writer, I'm dooooomed" intertwined with "I totally knew that, I'm brilliant, I'm way better than the herd, I'm gonna be a millionaire"), sometimes in the course of a single sentence. They get me spun up and competitive about who could be in the slush pile with me, and force me to obsess over why the process has to be so fraught and lottery-like. They make me angry because they contradict each other and themselves, sometimes in two neighboring paragraphs, as this one did. And because they codify everything about the process of publishing into secret handshakes that differ from book to book, indicating that the codification is thoroughly variable and meaningless.
To sum up: they keep me from doing good work. They take my focus off the book and onto myself and my ego, whether inflated or punctured. They advise less than they obfuscate. So I'm finished. Me and my perfectionism would rather do everything the exactly-right way to increase my chances of acceptance, but if I've learned anything at all from these fussy, confounding books, it's that the only part of the process that doesn't vary from house to house and agent to agent is do good work. (And tell the truth, but I've got that one down.) So fuck it. I'm just gonna do my best, and make the book part of that best, rather than merely my forward foot.
I note that this book, 78 Reasons etc., is apparently out of print. I'm not surprised, because the author's advice on self-publishing is no longer correct in the slightest and he doesn't mention e-books once. (It's from 2005.) However, its advice is otherwise no different than most of the other books I've read about writing and publishing. It's no outlier on the bad end. It's just as irritating and distracting as all the rest.
FWIW, I liked Self-Editing for Fiction Writers - it supplied practical, applicable advice to someone who abhors revision - and I liked The Fire in Fiction, although I suspect the latter was good because Maass is just a good writer. But, you know, those are craft books, not publishing books. Both invoked the carrot of "you want to be published, don't you?", but neither was specifically about how to get into print.
Okay. Rant over.
I'm trying very hard to do less Facebook lately, and it is a serious challenge. It's difficult on a minute-by-minute basis. And it makes me feel amazingly isolated. But I can also feel my life cracking open to let other things in: old habits, new uses for time. So...yay?